Travelers are often targeted for fraud, from booking airline and hotel tickets, to being defrauded on the ground. One of the biggest issues with travel fraud is identity theft. It is no secret that websites store personal information and those with enough know-how can easily access them. Identity theft can occur in a variety of ways and can create years of torment once dishonest individuals have your data. Below are the ways you can protect your information while traveling.
Refrain from sharing your itinerary or location in social media
Statistics say that less than a third of all travelers refrain from posting their travel details while traveling. The danger in this is that thieves and stalkers will know where you are and what you are up to. If you must share, do it after.
Don’t use public WiFi
Some hackers are always logged-on to public WiFi and just waiting for a chance to hack into your device and steal your data. If you must use public WiFi, then avoid logging in to your bank account or other financial accounts. Better yet, purchase a local sim card and create your own hotspot!
Bring only the absolute essentials and keep other valuables in a safe place
Why bring your social security card, driver’s license, and birth certificate when traveling? Just bring your passport and one or two credit cards. Leave the rest in a safe place at home.
Activate tracking tools on your phone and add a password
Think about it, a thief will easily have access to your most personal information and photos and videos if your phone gets stolen, so make it a bit harder for thieves to access your personal phone data by adding a password. If your phone has a tracking feature or a feature that will allow you to erase everything on the device remotely, be sure to turn that on too to be on the safe side.
Know exactly what important things you brought with you
Keep a list of the cards and documents you brought so you’d know exactly what to protect and who to call if your phone, wallet, or luggage gets stolen or goes missing. Remember that when it comes to preventing identity theft and use of your credit cards, your prompt action is a key factor!
Keep your home safe while you’re away
Stop your mail delivery to prevent an overflowing mailbox and schedule a time for trusted persons to maintain your lawn or check into your house. Basically you want it to look like you didn’t leave especially if you’ll be away for weeks.
Keep a close eye on your bank and credit card reports
Thieves who got your data can get away with plundering your money because you weren’t fast enough to know what they were up to. By monitoring financial transactions, you’ll know exactly when your account has been compromised if it does happen.
Avoid being a walking target
When you’re away, dishonest people can scam your relatives asking for money claiming to be you, all because you’ve made yourself and your loved ones a target for fraud. If bad people know where you are, they can use that information to steal from your loved ones by pretending to be you stuck abroad and can’t access your own account. Your elderly relatives are particularly targeted for this type of scam because they’ll surely send ‘help’ as soon as they can, not knowing that they’re just being taken for a ride.
With majority of victims (55%) saying that it took more than a year to reclaim their stolen identity, it pays to be extra careful when traveling. If you think that your details may have been compromised, contact us to discuss what actions we can help you with using our personal investigation services.